EARL COMPTON (York, W.R., Barnsley)
I beg to ask the Postmaster General if it is the fact that in the Sayings Bank Department during the 1690 year 1890 the total amount of overtime performed by the male staff (numbering 531) was about 268,000 hours' work (overtime worked by the hour amounting to about 106,500 hours, and overtime worked by the piece amounting to a sum of about £6,740, equivalent to about 161,500 hours); whether 268,000 hours of overtime are equivalent to the normal working hours of a staff of about 129 men; whether permanent overtime is only necessary during the first three months of every year; whether overtime (including timework and piecework) performed during the last nine months of 1890 amounted to about 90,000 hours' work, which is equivalent to the normal working hours of an additional staff of about 65 men during that period; and whether he intends to increase the permanent staff of the Savings Bank Department?
§ MR. RAIKES
The figures quoted by the noble Lord appear to be substantially correct. The difficult question of the mode of providing for the heavy pressure of work which occurs in the Savings Bank between the 1st January and the 1st May in each year is engaging my attention, and it will be my endeavour to make such arrangements for next year as will enable me to largely curtail the amount of extra duty to be performed. I am not prepared at present to make any statement as to the nature of the arrangement I may ultimately decide upon.
Is it likely that a decision will be arrived at before the Post Office Estimates are taken?
§ MR. RAIKES
I am not quite sure when the Post Office Estimates will be taken, but I have no doubt that I shall be able to arrive at a conclusion after I have consulted the Treasury.